The Easy Pleated Blouse Called Eve: Any Day, Everywhere

pleated blouseMany of you may remember the very popular project we published recently featuring Bali the Reversible Skirt.  When we were shooting the photos for this post, we chose to use a white pleated blouse to complement the skirt.  While the skirt was very well received and many of our members made the project, we ended up getting as many questions about the blouse the model was wearing as we did about the skirt!

pleated blouse

So this week I decided to make a pattern and project for this attractive pleated blouse.

About the name: Eve, the any day blouse, why the name?  According to the Bible, Eve was the first mother.  As mothers go, once you are a mother, you will always be a mother.  So in the lead up to Mother's Day, I wanted to share this blouse tutorial with you as a gift for all the women who play many roles as mothers, wives, friends and daughters.

So here is a blouse to represent you all in many different activities.  For lunch with a friend, taking a long trip, or going to the doctors or even hiking, this blouse will do it all depending on what fabric you choose.  I have chosen silk because of the breath-ability in the soaring temperatures particularly where I live here in Singapore.  This is a blouse that will look great with shorts, pencil skirts, skinny jeans, pajama pants, and goes fantastic under a suit.

The blouse will accommodate a bust and hips from 34″ to 54″ in width.

The best part?  For intermediate level sewers, this project is super easy to make.  I hope you enjoy!

Materials

  • 1 1/2 yards of Silk, Georgette, Satin, Crepe, Gauze , or Rayon. It must drape and cling to the body.
  • Suggested fabrics:  SatinCrepe, or Challis Rayon (this is what is used in the white version in the photos)
  • 1 yard of 1 inch bias tape for beginners.  For experienced sewers, 1/2 inch satin bias is an option.  Or you can make your own.
  • Sewing thread
  • Size 9 sewing needle.  We always use Schmetz.
  • Rotary cutter and a large mat.  Fiskars makes a good set if you don't have one.
  • Sewing machine
  • Serger (optional)

Fabric Recommendations from Amazon


Pattern Measurements

Please allow 8- 12 inches of ease for this blouse, you can wear it a bit tighter if you wish.  Extra small does mean for an extra small person.  The design of the blouse is to allow easy on the fabric does not mean that a person with  a 49 inch bust can wear the XS.   Body bust measurements  30″ to 44″ inches.

Warning:  This is not a plus size blouse despite of the measurements given below. pleated blouse

Here are the pattern measurements.

Size Bust Hips
XS 49″ 50″
X 50″ 51″
M 51″ 52″
L 52″ 53″
XL 53.5″ 54.5″
XXL 55″ 56″

Step One: Download, print and assemble the free pattern

Print the pattern using Adobe Reader.  This is the only program you need to download and print the pattern.

Print using Actual Size and Landscape Mode.  There are additional instructions for printing on the pattern.

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You can download the pattern and instructions for the Eve, Pleated Blouse from our account at Payhip.

For help downloading and printing PDF patterns, please CLICK HERE.

Step Two: Wash the fabric

Pre-washing is crucial step if you are using a fabric with natural fibers.  If you are not sure what's the composition of the fabric you have on hand, check out this YouTube video on how to test for the presence of polyester in your fabric.

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This step is best done at night before going to bed.  You can leave the fabric to air dry away from sunlight.  Iron the fabric on a low temperature and you are ready to start cutting.

Step Three: Cut the fabric

Because we are using a very slinky material, (I am using a printed silk satin) it is crucial that we find the grain of the fabric.  For a way to find the grain and more tips on cutting fabric please visit our tutorial: 5 Mistakes to avoid when cutting fabric.

Top 5 Mistakes to Avoid When Cutting Fabric

The use of weights when cutting with a rotary cutter is a widely accepted practice, however, make sure you have a very sharp blade otherwise your fabric will move around causing you to waste your time having to align the edges of the fabric again.  It is best to weigh down the fabric and pin in a few places especially around the curves.

The front part is cut on the fold and the back has two pieces.

TIP:  I cut my fabric with wrong side facing because I am going to make a French seam.  This makes it easier to take the fabric pieces straight to the machine.  For guidance on How to sew a French Seam, please review this tutorial.

Mark the pleats clearly with a notch to indicate the fold lines and placement of pleats.

Step Four: Make the bias tape

Making your own bias tape would be the ideal way to use the leftover of the fabric.  To do this, simply cut a 2-inch strip to make the 1-inch bias. pleated blouse I am using a contrasting color and a smaller size.  I would prefer to match the bias to the rest of the blouse, but for a tutorial purpose I am using a contrasting color so the details stand out.  For more information and guidance on Making continuous bias binding tape, please review this tutorial.

Making continuous bias binding tape

Step Five: Sew the back

You can use your serger, to finish the seams if you want, but because of the delicate nature of silk and satin, the French seam is the best seam to use to sew the blouse.  Start by sewing the back at 3/8″, iron the seam to one side and turn the piece, iron again.

pleated blouseSew again at 3/8″.

pleated blousePin the bias tape to the keyhole in the back and sew.  Follow the first crease of the bias tape or the one closest to the edge of the fabric.

pleated blouse

I am using a very thin bias tape.  If you are not used to sewing with slippery fabric or sewing bias tape, please use a 1-inch tape which will be easier.  If you are an experienced sewer, go ahead and use the satin 1/2″ bias tape.

Trim the threads of the fabric if it is unraveling, but not too close because it will be difficult to catch the edge of the fabric inside the tape.pleated blouse

Iron the fabric, and fold the bias making sure the end of the tape will cover the stitch you just made and sew.

Step Six: Make the pleats

In the pattern, there are two fold lines and one placement line per pleat.

pleated blousepleated blouseYou will be making three pleats that fold to the right and three pleats that fold to the left.

Stay stitch the pleats.

pleated blouse

Step Seven: Assembling your pleated blouse

Using a straight stitch, then a serger, sew the shoulders. You can use a french seam.

pleated blouseSew the sides the same way you did the shoulders.

 

pleated blouse

Step Eight: Finish the neck

Apply bias tape to the neck.  For a more detailed explanation on how to apply bias tape to the neck follow this on how to Use bias tape for a neckline or armhole facing.

Use Bias Tape for a Neckline or Arm Hole Facing

I have done it a bit differently, this technique is highly recommended when using stretch fabrics, except that when using stretch fabric you need to make the tape slightly smaller.  In our case, it needs to be exactly the same length of the opening of the neck.

Measure the neck of the size you are making and cut the same amount plus 5/8″

Sew both ends of the tape using 5/8″ seam to make a loop.pleated blouse

On the right side of the fabric, pin the loop seam to the shoulder seam, you will be able to adjust the tape if it is too tight or too loose using the 5/8″ allowance.  If you measured correctly, you will have no adjustments to make.  pleated blousePay special attention when pinning the tape to the key hole area.  pleated blouseThe keyhole should be pinned side by side with no gaps. pleated blouse Cut the seam allowance of the loop by half.  This will allow you to turn the tape easier.  Proceed to sew the bias tape all around to the neck. Turn and pin again, this time making sure you grab the back of the tape.  Sew very carefully either on the gap between the fabric and the tape or slightly on the edge of the tape.  This is part of your designer discretion.  pleated blousepleated blouse

Step Nine: Sew the hems

You can finish the hem and the sleeves in a number of ways and it will all depend on your taste.

Use the serger to clean the edges, then fold about 2/8″ and sew.  Use a twin needle to make a good looking hem.  For additional guidance on How to use a twin needle, please review this tutorial.

How to use a twin needle

You could also use a roll hem foot and finish both the sleeves and hem with it.  But, what happens when you do not have a rolled hem foot or a serger?

This is what you can do.

Choose a small zigzag setting, I am using number 2.  Starting with your needle no wider than the space of the foot. About 2/8″.pleated blouseHere is how it should look.  You could fold about 3/8″ and sew the hem with a straight stitch. pleated blouseTurn the hem 2/8″ or 3/8″ and sew.  For the sleeves, you can make it even narrower if you want.pleated blouse

It has taken me a bit over an hour to make this pleated blouse.  It's pretty easy to make for intermediate sewers yet has a great deal of functionality and can be worn with skinny jeans, shorts, pencils skirts, or pajama pants this blouse will look great under a blazer as well.  Please enjoy and happy sewing!

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You can download the pattern and instructions for the Eve, Pleated Blouse from our account at Payhip.

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[…] make the skirt a standalone garment and then do some creative experimenting to make the top into a unique blouse or vest. Also, try out getting some garments a size or two large and then turn them inside out, cut […]

GreenDoor
GreenDoor

Thank you for this free pattern! I made one up in a gauze fabric and it was a super fast, very rewarding project. I have a large bust and a full belly and found this blouse to be both flattering and comfortable. I’ve gotten lots of compliments on it. Thanks agian!

Elizabeth Martin
Elizabeth Martin

I am trying to download a copy of the pleated Blouse pattern, but my firewall is blocking the link saying it is not the right page.It comes up with:

chrome-extension://cjpalhdlnbpafiamejdnhcphjbkeiagm/document-blocked.html?details=eyJ1cmwiOiJodHRwOi8vd3d3LnNoYXJlYXNhbGUuY29tL3IuY2ZtP3U9MTIxNzIwOCZiPTI1MzUzNiZtPTI5MTkwJmFmZnRyYWNrPSZ1cmxsaW5rPXd3dyUyRWNyYWZ0c3klMkVjb20lMkZzZXdpbmclMkZwYXR0ZXJucyUyRmV2ZSUyRHRoZSUyRGV2ZXJ5d2hlcmUlMkRwbGVhdGVkJTJEYmxvdXNlJTJGMzA0MTg0IiwiaG4iOiJ3d3cuc2hhcmVhc2FsZS5jb20iLCJkbiI6InNoYXJlYXNhbGUuY29tIiwiZmMiOiJbMCw2MixcInNoYXJlYXNhbGUuY29tXCJdIiwiZnMiOiJ8fHNoYXJlYXNhbGUuY29tXiJ9.
Found in: Peter Lowe’s Ad and tracking server list
Not sure what this means, but it appears that opening up this page to the file will also put you on this ad and tracking list as well.

Maria Allen
Maria Allen

Thank you for this pattern. However, the link still did not work for me either. So there is a work around to this. Simply click the gray colored circle with the three dots next to the Pinterest circle. A box will pop up to where you can scroll down the left column to where it says print friendly. Click on that and you can choose to save the file or print it out as a PDF file.

kiki
kiki

Hi Myra:

I love the versatility of this blouse, and I’m even more tickled by the idea of it as a dress. Will a soft cotton gauze work? And you suggest placing the back of the pattern on the fold to eliminate the seam but still keep the “keyhole”?

Andrea
Andrea

Hi, the link isn’t working.

So Sew Easy
Admin
Member
Reply to  Andrea

Hi Andrea, I’ve just checked it and it works fine for me. Many thousands have downloaded so I’m confident all is going well. Please give it another try. Thanks and happy sewing, Mayra

Karen
Karen

Love your top Mayra. Can you tell me how to do a small roll over hem stitched on the machine. You showed it as a 3/8″ hem sewed in a straight stitch. Can you give a step by step on how you do this kind of hem. I would surely love to do it. It would come in handy when making scarfs. Thanks.

Amy Cook
Amy Cook

What would this look like in a jersey knit as a take on a t-shirt?

eileen horan
eileen horan

So…. What would happen if I used a light weight cotton – cotton Lawn perhaps?

Maria Allen
Maria Allen

I am having a hard time with the link to the The Easy Pleated Blouse Called Eve: Any Day, Everywhere. It will not pull it up for me. Please assist since I would love to make this blouse for this summer. Thank you!

Candice
Candice

I’m just wondering how hard it would be to adjust the sleeve portion. I do not like sleeves that short – I just need a few more inches, not a huge change. Any suggestions?

Betsy
Betsy

Measurements are for the finished garment and you need to allow 8-12 inches of design ease for it to drape well. Take the garment measurements and subtract the ease to get body dimensions. If you like a closer fit (less roomy/ less drape) go for less ease.
Design ease is a matter of personal preference so you can select the size based on how loose you like your clothes.

There is an error on the chart – L and XL both have same bust measurement. XL should probably be 53.5

So Sew Easy
Admin
Member
Reply to  Betsy

Hi Betsy, I’ve updated the chart. Thanks for letting me know.

frances
frances

i dont have a printer, do you sell paper patterns?

So Sew Easy
Admin
Member
Reply to  frances

Hi Frances, unfortunately, we don’t see paper patterns. Maybe you can try printing it at the library or something like that?

NGuyotte
NGuyotte

Cats – note those are pattern measurements, not body measurements, and then subtract the 8-12” of ease. That leaves a bust body measurement of 43-47”.

cats
cats
Reply to  NGuyotte

Thank you so much!

cats
cats

Thank you! This is exactly exACTly what I’ve been searching for!! Love it!

I’m confused, you warn that it is not a plus-size pattern but the pattern itself goes up to XXL with bust and hip at 55 and 56. Not trying to play gotcha, I’m wondering if I’ll have to grade out the pattern to fit.

Samone
Samone
Reply to  cats

Cats, I have made both a dress version and a shirt of this and I am about to make more! The reason why the bust and hip are so large is because the pleats add fabric, so if you had a bust or hip that large it would still fit you. But it fits fine without a larger bust or hip size. I wear a belt under the bust on my natural waist line for both (the dress version I made, I prefer), anyways it accentuates the curves. I used lightweight fabric so it drapes lovely. My bust is 45 at the largest and I believe I made the XL (I typically am between XL or XXL). I did add a few inches onto the bottom of the shirt because my curves (needing extra fabric) made the shirt look too short on my taller frame. Next time, I will cut the back on the fold instead of 2 pieces because I did not like how the back seam looked on my dress.

So long story short, you will not need to grade the pattern. Use test fabric and see if you need to make changes on the side seams or shoulder seems (it can show a bit of cleavage if you have some), but it should fit you if you are traditionally a M, make a M, etc.

cats
cats
Reply to  Samone

Thank you so much for the tips!! It’s exactly what I needed and wanted, but don’t need quite that much fabric ease. I am plannin on a rayon challis or crepe so the drape should be good. I didn’t hink about a dress, but the wheels are turning 8-))

Again thank you so much!

Helen Jones

I’ve just made this – my first successful garment in many years! Thanks for sharing the pattern.

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[…] result wasn’t good enough to wear outside the house – but not this time! I saw a free blouse pattern on the So Sew Easy blog and decided to have a go. I already had some fabric which was in […]

Ann Egan
Ann Egan

In the right-most photo (white blouse, striped skirt), it looks as though the blouse pleats are sewn down to about 6 inches below the neckline. Am I correct? I like this neater look. Are there any instructions for doing this?

Kim
Kim

In step 1 you say to allow 8-12 inches of ease in this blouse – does this mean we need to add the extra inches for the ease or is it already in the marked sizes? I measure – Bust 40 and waist 37 – Thanks for all the patterns and videos I love them.

Jw
Jw

What is the width of the fabric you are using? I have 2 yards of 36″ wide silk. Would that work for this pattern?

Ruth Hornsby
Ruth Hornsby

Hi, the pattern looks great and I am looking forward to the finished article, but i am just having a little problem with placing the bias around the key hole at the back. It doesn’t seem to be scooped enough so that at the point of the back central french seam it falls more of a ‘V’ shape than a curve. I have to admit I’ve not used bias before so have bought some to use, but even before placing the bias it looks more V shaped. Any tips?? thank you. kind regards, Ruth

Brittany Huffman

I have some tissue weight knit fabric. Would it would with this pattern?

Brittany Huffman
Reply to  Mayra Cecilia

Also, in the pattern pdf, it says you need 2 4×22 inch strips of fabric. What are those for? Or are those meant to be for the bias tape and you have to cut on the bias?

DEBORA JIMENEZ
DEBORA JIMENEZ

Hi Mayra, I am so excited about this blouse. I have made several items from you So Easy Gals that I love. However, I don’t know what I am doing wrong or just plain don’t get when it comes to fit. I have measured myself or my daughter 10 times for every project. I look at the recommended size charts. My bust is 41.5 so I round up to 42 inches. I have tried measuring the pattern to fine the fit… I would take a 21 inches plus the seam allowance. But I know there will be extra fabric due to the pleats but your size chart says a size small is 50 inches…. sorry but now I am not sure what size to make. Help please

Rosemary Harradine
Rosemary Harradine

Is this style flattering for a large bust? Sometimes pleated styles just look too voluminous to be flattering.

Harriet
Harriet

What are the seam allowances for this pattern?

YvonneJinks
YvonneJinks

Lovely pattern, goes together easily. if anyone is concerned that the numbers on the pattern out-line do not correlate to the actual downloaded pages, do not be worried just put them together in numerical order. A quick easy pattern
Yvonl

kitblue
kitblue

Love the sizing chart. Makes me feel normal!

ALEXA LITTLE
ALEXA LITTLE

This looks like an ideal blouse pattern but how do I know what size to cut out? I have searched your site and also Craftsy to find a size chart with body measurements for the various sizes. Maybe I have just over-looked this.

Judy P
Judy P

I too would like to know how to add length to the sleeve. Would I just enlarge the arm hole slightly and then cut the sleeve longer?

Dara
Dara

VERY PRETTY THANK YOU “SEW” MUCH.

Debra Kagawa
Debra Kagawa

I’ve looked and looked for the sizing 🙁 Can you please direct me to where you have the sizing or can you repeat it here? Thanks

Debra Kagawa
Debra Kagawa
Reply to  Mayra Cecilia

Thanks for updating the site with the sizing info!

Adelheid
Adelheid

This is so so kind of you to respond to our wishes and to share the pattern with us.

Thank you very much.

anneweaver1974

Beautiful! I have a Craft Gossip post scheduled for tomorrow that features your free pattern: http://sewing.craftgossip.com/?p=87732 –Anne

Tammy
Tammy

Where is the sizing information? I’ve read the entire pattern and don’t see it anywhere.

Carolyne
Carolyne

Oh, thank you! I’ve been eyeing a similar blouse with a key hole & bow… I had no idea how to add the bias tape to a key hole closure! Now I can make my own with my own fabric choice!

Angela
Angela

Beautiful Blouse! What is the sizing information for this pattern? i.e. XL fits what bust/hip measurements?

trininanciNanci

This is a great pattern but I notice there is no indication of size measurements like with other patterns. Did I miss this somewhere? Thanks a lot for making this a free pattern.

Kimberelle Martin
Kimberelle Martin

I love this blouse and it will be an asset to my wardrobe.
Can you tell me how I could possible lengthen or have sleeves?

faden(r)echt
faden(r)echt

Thanks for this pattern for nice blouse that can be worn in such a variety.
I love your site.
Kind regards from Germany,
Andrea